Too late to start chicks?


In the Brooder
8 Years
Aug 2, 2011
Snohomish, WA
I think I have a broody hen, I have never let them be broody before but I was going to begin hatching eggs with broody hens in spring. It is far from spring but my pullet seems kind of excited to be a mother, she only has 2 eggs.
My questions are....
1. is it too late to begin chicks when fall and winter are close. We live in the Pacific Northwest, so it dosent get freezing, but wet, and cold.
2. is it too late to add more eggs under her? She began sitting on them (I think) 2 days ago.
3. she is on the side of my house, we have possums raccoons and other nasty things, but I think if I move her to the coop she would move herself right back out. She is one of the pullets that never got fully accepted and the bigger hens like to kick them out of the coop at bedtime.
Any insight would be helpful thanks.
yes it too late to put more eggs because when the first baby hatches the mom waits like a day for the other eggs to hatch
and it never too late to have baby chicks
I don't think its too late for either one. My silkie waited 4 days after the first chick hatched on this last hatch before I took the eggs out from under her, so 2 days should be fine, in my opinion. And you can hatch eggs yearround with a mama. She will keep them warm and take care of them, especially with such a mild climate as we have in the PNW.

Also, a gestation period for a chicken is anywhere from 19 to 25 days (tho standard is 21), so they will set until they all hatch or, if they haven't hatched by day 25, they're not going to.
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We also live in the upper NW. I have a very broody Buff Orpington right now and pulled eggs from one of my other coops for her to sit on. She's hatched 2 since August 20th (we have 5 live hatches altogether since that date) with the last one being hatched August 23rd. She's suffocated one or two that've hatched since then tho' (partial hatches)... But my broody gal is still sitting on the add-ons I put in several days later without any inclination to stop.

I know one of the eggs is gearing up to hatch tho'! Had one of the other eggs she was sitting on break under her earlier today (heat?) - not a chick yet, still all gooey - and the nest/coop was getting all stinky and attracting all kinds of flies/bugs. Went ahead and removed all the eggs, put them in lukewarm water to soak off the mess (wasn't sure if I should do that or not), and went to clean the nest completely. Some of those eggs were floating, so I thought they might actually be bad and was of the mind to toss them, but by the time I got back, one of the floating eggs was moving in the water - causing ripples - and when I picked it up out of there, it moved a bit in my hand and I heard a definite "cheep". I immediately finished cleaning and drying the eggs and put them back under the hen! I did mark that one egg tho' so I'd know which one I was looking for. Don't want her to suffocate another.

It's my first time hatching eggs, but from what I'm seeing so far with my gal it's not too late! It might help that I've been taking feed and water to her so she doesn't have to leave the nest...? I started doing that because she hadn't come out to eat/drink in several days and was getting concerned for her health.
My broodies NEVER get off their nests. I have to keep their food and water right in front of their faces, and even hand feed them scrambled eggs and cheese. My silkie won't even get off the nest to poop! GROSS!!. I can't tell you hhow many times I've had to clean up her broody-poop butt, clean eggs etc. But they hatch and she's a good mama, vicious pecking aside.
I don't think it's too late for either. They will be feathered by the cold weather and my last broody sat 3 days after the first egg hatched for the late arrivals. I think she would have sat longer if I hasn't moved the family.
I have the same problem with my brand new broody silkie.
She NEVER gets off the nest. She's been sitting for a week and a half now.
I have to take her off the nest every day and place her in front of the water where she drinks about 10 gulps.
Then she "wakes up" and begins to waddle all over the yard scratching and clucking.
She usually stays out for about 40 min before she waddles back to the coop where I put her back in her nest box.
She doesn't poop in the nest (thank God!), but I'm just concerned about her not eating/drinking.
I keep food & water right outside the nestbox in front of her but she never comes out.

yes, my chicken doesnt seemed to leave the nest either, but I keep thinking she must because she is not dead, can they starve themselves to death? That seems counterproductive.
Wish me luck, I am going to move her tonight to a brooder house, I made with a wire cage and a dog house stuck them together and Whallah!
Ok, it looks silly, but it was the best I could come up with in a day. I put food and water infront of her today, she looked at me as if to say "What is that for?"

That should work, I used a extra large dog kennel in my coop to introduce 5 week old chickens, worked great, just make sure babies can't slip through wire and momma can't protect it. Good luck, Michele

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